The Calendar of New Beginnings by Ava Miles

Posted May 31, 2016 by Jonetta in Book Review | | 1 Comment

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Calendar of New Beginnings by Ava MilesThe Calendar of New Beginnings by Ava Miles
Series: Dare Valley #9
Published by Self Published on April 13, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: Author
Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Goodreads
four-stars
four-flames

International photojournalist Lucy O'Brien returns to her hometown of Dare Valley after a devastating trauma that threatens her livelihood. When her mother asks her to do a photo shoot for a Calendar Girls-like calendar to raise money for breast cancer, she can’t take their…ahem…ribald photos fast enough. Too bad her involvement stirs up her childhood best friend, Boy-Next-Door and widower Andy Hale, in all the wrong ways.

 

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Photojournalist Lucy O’Brien returns to Dare Valley from the Congo following a devastating injury. While she’s recovered from most of them, her optic nerve was damaged and her vision in her right (dominant) eye is still an issue. She’s not told anyone the details for various reasons (some better than others) but her best friend, widower Andy Hale, doesn’t waste time getting her to fess up. To complicate matters, she’s been asked by her mother to photograph a risqué calendar featuring too many people she knows to fundraise for cancer research and she’s not sure she can see well enough to do the project justice.
This is quite a lovely story with some very emotional themes. It’s not your typical friends-to-lovers romance either as there aren’t any secret conflicts between the two and their deepening feelings are a surprise to both, handled maturely and with forthright. Their new relationship developed beautifully. However, Lucy’s entire identity is tied up in her career; she doesn’t know who she is without the ability to express herself through her photography. And, her relationship with her mother is fraught with tension as she struggles to assert her independence. Again, the mother-daughter issues are not your normal ones and you’ll be drawn to both sides.
Let’s not forget Andy who loved his wife deeply and is still recovering, two years later, with her death from breast cancer. His relationship with their five-year old son will warm your heart as he tries to explain loss in ways he can digest and understand. And, Lucy and his wife were good friends so there’s that to contend with as they both grieve and love each other differently.
The issues and the developing relationship are told with eloquence and dignity, despite some moments of comic relief. The resolutions aren’t easy and I loved how they weren’t wrapped neatly in a bow. I can always count on Ava to inspire and this one definitely lifted my spirits. I hope this series never ends.

About Ava Miles

Ava Miles burst onto the contemporary romance scene after receiving Nora Roberts’ blessing for her use of Ms. Roberts’ name in her debut novel, NORA ROBERTS LAND, which kicked off The Dare Valley Series and brought praise from reviewers and readers alike. Much to Ava’s delight, BlogCritics says “It [NORA ROBERTS LAND] captures the best of…a Nora Roberts novel,” while USA Today’s Happily Ever After blog praises the series noting its “wonderful, idyllic setting… [and] great characters.” Ava continued The Dare Valley Series in FRENCH ROAST, which Tome Tender says “raised the entertainment bar again” and then THE GRAND OPENING, which reviewer Mary J. Gramlich says “is a continuation of love, family, and relationships.” Now, Ava releases the fourth book in the series, THE HOLIDAY SERENADE, with her recognized wit and charm, creating happy endings with humor and heart.

Born in a small town herself, Ava has created the small, Colorado town of Dare Valley and the residents who make it memorable, including the Hale family who, like Ava, are descended from a long line of journalists. Ava’s great-great grandfather won his first newspaper in a poker game in 1892 and her family has had something to do with telling stories, whether to share news or, in her case, fiction, ever since. In fact her clan is still reporting on local events more than one hundred years later at their family newspaper.

Ava is a member of the Romance Writers of America and Washington Romance Writers. She is also part of an unofficial group that regularly convenes a writing retreat at Nora Roberts’ restored Inn Boonsboro in western Maryland. Having left behind the “day job,” which took her, literally, all over the world, she now writes full-time in the peace and quiet of her northern Virginia porch-swinging-friendly community.

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Jonetta

Co-Blogger/Full Time Reviewer at The Book Nympho
I LOVE reading and am just crazy about so many series and writers. I’m open to exploring new authors and genres and appreciate those who not only write well but can deliciously craft a character and a tale. Your suggestions for new authors and titles are very much welcomed.

I also love to talk about books. There’s nothing more exciting than to finish a great story and cover it A to Z with other people, exploring different perspectives and points of view. So, if you see something on my shelf you’d like to talk about, send me a message and we’ll talk!

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